How & Why

What Will Kill a Fig Tree?

Fig trees are an often neglected fruit tree. They seem to be able to take care of themselves, but figs are very sensitive to various stresses from pests and from the environment. Fig trees can die for a number of different reasons including:

-poor quality soil that doesn’t have enough drainage or is poorly fertilized
-drought conditions
-low winter temperatures
-poor air circulation
-too much water on the roots, which may cause root rot problems
-aggressive weed growth near the tree’s roots or competition with other plants near by.

Keeping the soil around fig trees well fed with organic matter will help the tree improve the quality of its root system. If you are planting a new fig tree, keep in mind that this is one tree crop that needs to have a pretty good sized hole for planting because fig trees have large root systems. The bigger the hole, the better chance your fig tree has of growing right away and thriving.

Another important consideration is winter protection for your fig trees. The roots of these plants are particularly vulnerable to cold weather, especially if there is snow on top or if cold winds come through during winter frost periods. It is essential for the roots to have someplace warm to go to protect them from these extreme cold temperatures.

Although fig trees are extremely resilient, there are some things that you can do that will help keep your tree healthy. Feeding your fig tree with an organic fertilizer every year will help it continue growing vigorously and healthy. Fertilizing the soil around fig trees helps to create a healthy, vigorous root system.

-Use a good compost mixture for fertilizer.
-Use 2 tons of manure or compost per year per 100 feet of apple or pear tree pruning – Remove anything that might be competition for your plant (such as weeds).
-Take good care of the tree. Never allow the tree to dry out or get too cold. Also never fertilize when you are watering.
-Never prune your fig tree without first cutting off all the branches that might be damaged by frost or sunlight.
-Water only after the soil has dried out, especially in cold weather. Use drip irrigation to help conserve water during hot, dry weather. If you water your fig trees near peak fruiting season (February and early March), you will increase their risk of dropping fruit on the ground.
Figs are highly nutritious. They are an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. They also contain vitamin A for good vision and they’re high in antioxidants.
-Water deeply after the temperatures start to cool in late summer. Water deeply once a month through September.
-Keep the fig tree in full sunlight all day long.
-Fertilize in spring with compost tea or manure tea to help increase fruit production and size.
-Protect your fig trees from pests like spider mites (which thrive in dry soil) by watering regularly during the summer months (daily if needed).